5 routes · Trail Running
French Trail and West Ridge Loop
An escape to nature from the city, and a prime running loop in Redwood Regional Park.
Trail Running Moderate
- 12 km
- 564 m
- 564 m
- 1-2 hrs
- Low Point
- 178 m
- High Point
- 464 m
This loop in Redwood Regional Park is one of the best for trail running. It follows swooping singletrack through hillside forest and climbs a ridge, then follows wider track on the ridgeline, with intermittent views through the trees. For the most part it’s well shaded, evenly surfaced, and gently graded. The loop mapped here is only one of many possibilities, however. Well-signed trails interweave throughout Redwood Regional and adjacent parks, allowing many combinations of distance and difficulty. You’ll want to come back to explore different running routes and find a favorite.
This route starts from Canyon Meadow Staging Area, inside one of the main entrances to Redwood Regional Park. Note that you can easily access the trails from other places as well, including free parking along Skyline Blvd or via trails from town. From Canyon Meadow, you’ll briefly follow the paved Stream Trail, then cross the creek and hit the wide gravel track of Bridle Trail. Soon comes the junction with Orchard Trail, a narrower path that climbs somewhat steeply to French Trail. French Trail makes a long and sinuous traverse of the hillside, dipping in and out of verdant drainages with lots of small ups and downs. It then makes a steeper ascent to join West Ridge Trail, a wide track that’s more popular and also open to bikes.
West Ridge follows the ridgeline, staying mostly under the canopy but hitting some clearings that grant nice views to the eastern hills. You still won’t see much of the city that’s just to the west. West Ridge eventually finds Orchard Trail to complete the loop, but if you’d rather run French Trail again, you can drop down sooner on another trail and retrace French instead.
Best time to visit
Guidebooks in this area
11 routes · Hiking · Trail Running